Edamame – young, green soybeans and (in this writer’s opinion anyway) the food of the gods – are usually prepared by boiling the beans in the pods, before draining and sprinkling with salt. While some people might think of edamame as an appetiser, or a side dish to sushi, in Japan the mighty green soybean has a special purpose – edamame’s best friend and soulmate is a cold beer.
And the writing team over at our Japanese sister site Pouch have their own special method of cooking edamame that they swear is doubly delicious. All you need is edamame, salt, and a lot less water than you might think.
The Japanese word mushiyaki (蒸し焼き) is a combination of mushi (“steaming”) and yaki, which refers to cooking, heating, or stir-frying. Mushiyaki, therefore, basically means to cook or sauté food with the lid on. And the result, we assure you, is totally different to boiled or steamed edamame – twice as sweet, and twice as delicious!
Like all the best RocketNews24 recipes, the ingredients list here is a masterpiece in brevity:
1. First, wash the edamame under running water.
Edamame shells often have a kind of hairy fluff on the outside, which can get stuck in your teeth and feel funny when you pop the beans out to eat them. To remove this extra fuzz from the outside of the shells, sprinkle them with salt, and rub between your hands until most of it comes off.
2. Next, salt the edamame (this time, for flavour), mixing them around in the colander to ensure they are coated. We recommend about 1 teaspoon of salt for each 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of edamame.
3. Put the salted edamame in a frying pan, and add water – enough to half-cover the beans.
▼ (We used a Coca-Cola glass, but any brand of container will do)
▼ The shells should be around half-covered by the water – no more.
4. Put the pan lid on at a slight angle, so there’s an opening at one side, and turn on the heat.
▼ If your frying pan doesn’t come with a lid, don’t worry – an ill-fitting lid from another pan might do an even better job.
Now, let’s mushiyaki!
5. Stirring occasionally, cook the beans until the skins slightly char and darken in places.
Your kitchen should start to fill with the deep, sweet-savoury fragrance of bean pods that have, by the power of mushiyaki, been steamed and char-grilled at the same time!
This simple cooking method brings out the depth of flavour of the beans, making them an even more delicious accompaniment to a cold beer – and, we are afraid to say, therein lies the one drawback of this tasty recipe.
Yes, our Japanese writer quickly found a dangerous side-effect of this delicious new snack – they go a little bit too well with beer:
“I gave them to my friend to try, and she was amazed too. ‘Wha- what did you do to these edamame to make them taste so good?!’ And before she knew it, there were three empty beer cans next to her.”
Mushiyaki edamame: may cause beer consumption. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
[ Read in Japanese ]